Former Trump Organization CFO Expected To Be Star Witness In Company’s Tax Fraud Trial

by | Oct 22, 2022 | Politics

The former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization is expected to be a star witness in the upcoming criminal tax fraud trial against Donald Trump’s company.Allen Weisselberg, who worked with the company since 1973, is almost certain to be called to testify about the inner workings of Trump’s business. Jury selection in the trial begins Monday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Trump is not personally charged in the case.AdvertisementWeisselberg pleaded guilty in August to 15 charges related to his role in the Trump Organization, including conspiring with the company. He was sentenced to a maximum of five months in prison and fined $2 million.Weisselberg refused to agree to disclose any details specifically about Trump as part of his plea deal, The New York Times reported at the time. But Weisselberg did agree to testify about Trump’s company in exchange for the truncated jail term. He had faced up to 15 years in prison.The case against the Trump Organization and its subsidiary Trump Payroll Corporation, brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, argues that the company allegedly engaged in a 15-year scheme to dodge taxes by largely paying executives with undeclared perks such as homes and cars, allowing them to underreport compensation. The Trump Organization has pleaded not guilty and denied all wrongdoing“The world is about to see just how the Trump Organization ran its business,” Barbara McQuade, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at the University of Michigan, told Bloomberg.Advertisement“This is a significant case,” McQuade said. “The criminal charges are against Trump’s corporation, which is a small private company, but Donald Trump is the Trump Organization.”Among the benefits Weisselberg reportedly received as a Trump Organization employee were an apartment, including utilities and garage costs, a Mercedes-Benz, school tuition payments for his grandchildren, unreported cash and various personal expenses for his homes and his son’s apartment, including flat-screen televisions, carpeting and furniture. Prosecutors said those items should have been taxed like income. Under Weisselberg’s supervision the company allegedly maintained two sets of books in an effort to hide the untaxed perks. Weisselberg personally avoided paying an estimated $900,000 in taxes by underreporting compensation, according to The Washington Post.If the Trump Organization is found guilty of charges against it, it could be hit with back taxes and fines totaling about $1.6 million.Another part of the district attorney’s evolving case in the future will include the Trump Organization’s alleged practice of routinely inflating assets when obtaining insurance payouts and loans.AdvertisementNew York Attorney General Letitia James last month sued Trump, three of his adult children and Weisselberg for $250 million over the alleged use of inflated financial statements to mislead lenders, following her own civil investigation conducted parallel to Bragg’s criminal case.“Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us,” James said at a press conference announcing the suit.Trump has called her lawsuit baseless and repeatedly said James was engaged in a “witch hunt” during her examination of the company. The case is pending.Trump has not commented on Bragg’s upcoming case. …

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